Turf damage at Welles Park

Thank you to everyone who has reached out regarding the grub infestation that decimated a significant section of Welles Park.

The following was shared with us from the Chicago Park District:

A large infestation of grubs has emerged at Welles Park and Winnemac Park. Experts have confirmed that the infestation is the larval stage of the June beetle (Phyllophaga), also known as the May beetle or June bug.  This is a common agricultural pest. The grubs eat the roots of plants and can quickly destroy large areas of crops – or in our case, turf. Large areas of turf at both parks are completely gone. Beetle grubs are often present in smaller numbers in many parks. We have not determined the cause for the grub population surge, but experts have suggested that the weather patterns may have contributed to the large numbers. 

Treatment will begin at Welles Park tomorrow, October 28 and at Winnemac Park as soon as the weather permits the week of November 1.

Patrons will be asked to avoid the area 1 to 2 hours following treatment.

The District will fertilize and seed the fields next week.  At this point in the year we will be “dormant seeding,” which means we are not likely to see much germination until the soil is warm enough in the spring.  We will seed the field again in the spring as soon as weather allows. 

The field will remain closed until we have adequate root growth to withstand typical use from sports.  Depending on weather conditions this fall spring, the fields will reopen for use between late May and late June.  We will do our best to get the fields open for play as early as possible.

Read more about the infestation from WTTW.

Turf grass damaged due to grub infestation. Healthy grass can be seen in the distance. (Oct 2021)